7Building and Maintaining Supportive Relationships

We are Groot.


“Say ‘Joey is the best.’ Come on, I want to hear you say ‘Joey is the best,’” Tony would command his friends. Eventually, everyone would say “Joey is the best.”

The Joey, in this case, is Joe Valerio. Tony is his older brother who used to bring him along to play basketball at a local park just outside of Philadelphia. In most cases, Joe was younger than everyone on the court by nine, 10, or 11 years, and his skills, of course, were way behind, too. Still, Tony would force the other players to include his little brother.

Tony believed in Joe so much that it started to rub off on the little kid who would grow to be 6-foot, 5-inches and weigh a muscular 300 pounds as an NFL ...

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